Thursday, January 14, 2010

HAPPY SANKRANTI / Pongal / Makar Sankranti / Uttarayan / Lohri!!!

Today is Sankranti festival. On this happy occasion wish you happiness, prosperity, good health, success and peace. Sankranti is celebrated all over India and even in other South Asian countries, with some regional variations. It is celebrated as Sankranti, Makara Sankranti or Makar Sankranti in Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal, West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, Goa, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka and Maharashtra. The festival is celebrated as Lohri in Himachal Pradesh and Punjab, as Pongal in Tamil Nadu and as Uttarayan in Gujarat and Rajasthan. In Nepal it is celebrated as Maghi or Maghe Sankranti or Maghe Sakrati. And in Myanmar it is Thingyan, in Laos it is Pi Ma Lao and in Thailand it is Songkran.
Sankranti festival falls on the day when the Sun begins its northward journey and enters the sign of Makara (Capricorn) from the Tropic of Cancer. In local interpretation it means the Sun has commenced to move from Dakshinayana (South) to Uttarayana (North). Every year this event always falls on the 14th of January, according to the Solar Calendar. Today onwards the harshness of winter would reduce and the days would get longer. Symbolically, the Sun gradually removes darkness and ushers in the light of knowledge and wisdom.
Though the reasons for the celebration of this festival are plenty, the most important is - it is celebrated as a harvest festival. It is celebrated with a lot of pomp and show with colorful dresses, colorful Muggulu (Rangoli), colorful Kites, well decorated houses, lots of entertainment and a variety of food over the three day festival. It is a festival to express gratitude to God for a good harvest and all the material possessions and it is also time for communal camaraderie, thanksgiving and exchange of greetings. So once again wish you all a very Happy Sankranti / Pongal / Makar Sankranti / Uttarayan / Lohri!!!
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